04-13-2009, 08:32 PM
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I agree. Don't change the media, just rinse it out in tank water. Sponges work till they start falling apart. When you replace the pad, you do lose the bacteria it contains. So its only safe to change 1/3 of the filter media at a time then wait 2 weeks before changing any more.. A quick search I did shows your filter only contains 1 large filter pad. Meaning if you replace the pad you lose almost all of your bacteria. Your tank would go through the cycle again. This is the reason I don't care for Whisper filters or any other filter that uses only one pad. An Aquaclear 30 would of been a better choice IMO. Your filter will do though.
If you do ever need to change the pad I would suggest removing the carbon if it is still in there (wait 2 weeks) Then cut off one 1/3 of the old media and place a new filter bag(get rid of the new carbon) over the old one. (wait 2 weeks) Remove another 1/3 of the old media(wait 2 weeks) before removing the rest of the old media. Do not increase the bioload while doing this.
Removing 1/3 the media will not cause the tank to cycle or even mini cycle. It has the same effect as if you were to increase the fish load by 1/3. The two week period gives enough time for the bacteria to recolonize the media before you remove any more.